A Covenant Relationship

Date posted: Thursday 16 March 2023

Congregations and individuals all around the Saint Paul Area Synod have experienced lives changed, both individually and as a community of faith, because of Tanzanian partnerships. We have experienced the deep grace and hospitality of our Iringa hosts. Most of us have seen chapels constructed, motorbikes purchased, and students graduating from secondary schools through the support of BKB. We have been involved in water projects, medical support, microfinance and a number of other development projects.


How do we know that we’re doing the right things, working in helpful ways? How do we become good companions on this journey?

  • The Biblical story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus gives us a model. Walking along after a really tough week, the disciples shared their stories. They broke bread with a stranger. They realized that Jesus had been present in all they experienced. In our companionships, we remember that the good news comes from Christ, who joins us whenever two or three are gathered in his name.
  • Our Tanzanian friends have articulated three pillars on which our companionship stands: prayers, presence, projects. As we are mindful of these three distinct areas of activity, and as we seek to keep balance between them, we lean into the strengths of our companions while sharing our own gifts.
  • We also have the benefit of experience and guidance of the wider community of global mission workers. We’ve learned from the ELCA to name the components of accompaniment ministry as mutuality, inclusivity, vulnerability, empowerment and sustainability. When we live out these values, our companionships grow in grace.
  • In recent years, we have looked more deeply at our companionships through the lens of intercultural awareness. We see the gifts embedded in cultures different from our own, and have come to appreciate each others’ diversity as much as we once delighted in our commonalities.


In the process of becoming companions, our congregations and parishes enter into a covenant relationship that acknowledges that relationships require work, support, commitment and renewal. That covenant closes with words to guide us:


In all of this, we seek to walk together – shoulder to shoulder – as brothers and sisters in Christ, lovingly created in the image of God, and led by God’s Holy Spirit.


To God alone be the glory!




Kirsten Levorson

Director of Bega Kwa Bega